As published in the Rutland Herald by Keith Whitcomb on February 13.
The local solid waste district will refund $150,000 to its member towns. Mark Shea, district manager of the Rutland County Solid Waste District, said in an interview Thursday the $150,000 is a budget surplus accumulated over a period of years. He said the district Board of Supervisors voted to refund the surplus to member towns based on their populations.
According to draft minutes of the board’s Dec. 4 meeting, five board members voted “yes” to refund the surplus, while four voted “no.” Voting “yes,” according to the draft minutes, were Tim Gilbert, of Castleton, Bill Gillam, of Rutland City, Bob Bixby, of Clarendon, Larry Taggart, of Ira, and Clint Wooley, of Mount Holly. Voting “no” was Gabe McGuigan, of Brandon, Carrie Dougherty, of Proctor, Paul Donaldson, of Poultney, and Nancy Gaudreau, of Pittsford.
Shea said the crux of the debate as to how to handle the surplus was essentially between those who thought it best to provide some rate-relief to member towns, and those who thought it would be better to save it for future capital expenses.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, I think,” he said. “We’ve done well with being fiscally conservative and watching our pennies.”
Shea said he has recommended that towns use their surplus refunds on infrastructure and maintenance, as these elements don’t get cheaper over time.
The checks only just went out, according to Shea, meaning not all town leaders have had a chance to discuss how to use the funds.